Police deny permit for Elgar Parishad event
Pune police on Wednesday denied permission to retired justice BG Kolse Patil for organising an Elgar Parishad conclave at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch in Pune on December 31.
The city police cited reasons such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the detection of a deadly new strain of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom and the need to maintain law and order in denying permission to Lokshasan, a non-government organisation run by Kolse Patil , to organise the event.
“We have denied permission to the organisers to hold such an event in view of the Covid situation and law and order,” said Pune commissioner of police Amitabh Gupta.
Caste clashes broke out in Pune’s Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018 that left lone person dead and 40 injured after an Elgar Parishad was organised the previous day in Pune city. January 1, 2018, marked the bicentenary of the 1818 Battle of Koregaon, which marked a Dalit victory over caste-based oppression during the reign of the Peshwas..
The Akhil Bharitya Brahman Mahasangh had requested the city police to exercise restrain in acting on the request by Kolse Patil for permission to organise the Elgar Parishad. When HT tried to contact him, Kolse Patil’s phone was answered by an attendant who said he was addressing a gathering.
The former judge had earlier claimed that a payment of Rs 40,000 had already been made for the venue. He said that he had already booked the venue, paid the rent and sought permission from the police for holding the “anti-caste ” conference.
“If the police don’t give us permission, then we will go to the high court to seek permission,” Kolse Patil had said.
Retired Supreme Court judge PB Sawant and retired justice Kolse Patil were the conveners of the first Elgar Parishad held on December 31, 2017. .According to a charge sheet filed in the case, Maoist forces were behind organizing and funding the conclave that was followed by the violence in Bhima Koregaon.
As many as fourteen academics and activists have been arrested from various parts of the country for suspected Maoist links in connection with the case that has been taken over by the National Investigation Agency from Pune police.